Campus power may be cut with five minute notice


June 30, 2006

Mississippi State University has entered into a new tri-party interruptible rate agreement with TVA and Starkville Electric Department (SED). The agreement requires a total electrical power interruption within five minutes notice.

This new agreement requires that Mississippi State disconnect from the SED/TVA system within five minutes of notification and continue to shave peak demand thru energy conservation measures to receive any savings benefits.

To assist with peak shaving, the university has developed an energy committee which meets every two weeks to suggest, review and implement actions toward that goal. The university has also hired an energy manager who is analyzing current control systems and adjusting them to shave peak demand and cost.

Although TVA has not curtailed power to interruptible customers in Mississippi State's rate category since 1999, the likelihood of such an outage is greatest during weekday afternoons in June, July and August. In May the university came very close to having to get offline.

In the event Mississippi State is required to interrupt the campus electrical supply, a significant penalty will incur if it is not done within five minutes. The university has a system in place to accomplish this and plans to implement automatic controls.

In the event of an interruption notification, power will immediately be dropped to the entire university and--simultaneously--the process to bring up Mississippi State's electrical generation plant will begin. Under normal circumstances, it will take 15 minutes to power up and restore campus power.

If you have questions or any suggestions for ways to save energy costs, please e-mail them to Jim.Jones@msstate.edu.